Saturday, 9 November 2013

in two minds

I like being close to nature. In natural nature more, than in a museum.

I like animals better alive. Seeing them stuffed in a Museum of Nature is convenient (for personal safety), interesting and saddening in the same time. We were assured by the staff that they arrived here naturally dead or dead by regulation. Some were donated by a zoo, after the death of an old or a terminally ill animal. Some were donated by a forester whose job is to survey the forests and the seashore, and to cull certain species according to law.

So there. Feeling conflicted, interested, controversed and intrigued, I examined the exhibits in the still life set-ups like a good museum punter, respecting their fragile beauty and deadness by resisting to pat their fur, boop their nose or tickle their paw. Looking at the beautifully preserved dead animals, I couldn't help but wish that all the taxidermy was still alive running around unseen by me in the wild. I got out of there just before those silent, life-like glass eyes started to seem too alive.

No beauty without pain, no rose without a thorn, no museums of nature without dead animals... I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad to get back home to the little plastic zoo that I keep in a jar.


  1. i agree with you. there isn't a better way to see wild animals than alive in nature.
    i wish you a good sunday dear aniko :) x

  2. Yeah, I agree - those stuffed animals make me feel a bit weird. In natural history museums, that's probably the only part I really skip. But I love the natural history museums, my dad always took me when I was a kid, and today, my favorite is the one in London. The building alone is worth a visit, there's no admission fee, the gift shop sells the greatest stuff and they have a section about gems that makes Tiffany's look pale in comparison ;-)

  3. It is a bit miserable and macabre isn't it. The photo of the bear break my heart!


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